Common App Members Awarded More Than $55 Million in Need-Based College Application Fee Waivers in 2016-2017

Nov 08, 2017

Common App Members Awarded More Than $55 Million in Need-Based College Application Fee Waivers in 2016-2017

In its fifth year of offering a streamlined, one-step application fee waiver, The Common Application helped students obtain nearly one million fee waivers totaling $55 million.

“The Common App has been providing students a streamlined “common" need-based fee waiver for five years, enabling low- and middle-income students to apply to college for free,” said Jenny Rickard, President & CEO of The Common Application. “Our fee waiver is simple, and students only need to complete it once. Thanks to the generosity of our members, with these need-based and other fee waivers, 51% of students applied to Common App member schools last year free of charge."

In 2016-2017, the Common App’s need-based fee waiver process saved students more than $55 million in application fees; more than 250 Common App member schools had no application fees. Students can identify schools that do not charge any application fees via the Common App’s College Search feature. Members of The Common Application provide need-based fee waivers to first-year and transfer students applying to college.

“The Common App fee waiver is a game-changer,” said Ashley Overman, College Liaison, Dayton Early College Academy in Dayton, Ohio. “About 80% of our students are first-generation, and this extra support from The Common Application brings a huge sigh of relief - and a sense of peace - to them and their families. Fee waivers knock down one more barrier in the college application process, when students discover that they can gain access to something they didn’t believe they could afford.”

Today, and for the last five years, students who meet any of the following criteria are eligible to qualify for an application fee waiver from The Common App’s more than 750 member colleges and universities:

* Enrolled in or eligible for Federal Free or Reduced Lunch Program

* Annual family income is within range set by USDA Food and Nutrition Service

* Received or eligible for a fee waiver for SAT or ACT standardized test

* Enrolled in federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families

* Live in federally subsidized public housing, in foster care, or is homeless

* Family receives public assistance

More than one million applicants, one third of whom are first-generation college students, submitted over 4.5 million applications through the Common App. Last year, nearly one million need-based fee waivers were granted.